tv [untitled] September 10, 2010 9:30pm-10:00pm PST
>> i'm responding to the comments that were just made. the section that she's referring to is section 146 of the planning code. i think we're going to get to phthalater today after we deal with the -- get to that later today. with respect to the e.i.r., i would contend that she's wrong with respect to the e.i.r.'s discussion of sunlight on sidewalks. the draft e.i.r. discusses it and there's an extensive discussion of this exact issue in the comments and responses on pages 11, 18 and 59. what mrs. hoefter is complaining about is the fact that this city and the ceqa process considering -- considers parks, considers privately held open spaces,ers can recreational open spaces -- considers recreational open spaces, but ceqa is not about
shadows on sidewalks. there's a special provision that deals directly with shadows on sidewalks. when we get to the entitlement proportion of -- portion of this a hearing and the exception that we're requesting, there will be plenty of discussion about that and there's plenty of material in the planning department file about the exception. but the exception's in the planninging code. there's no exception in the ceqa requirements. and mrs. hoefter hasn't pointed as to why there should be an analysis of shadows on sidewalks in the e.i.r. when it's down in the planning code. again, the e.i.r. talks extensively about shadows on parks, popos, recreational spaces downtown and all over the city and that's what every e.i.r. has done that deals with shadow issues. notwithstanding, the planning department has done a very good job at explaining background
information in the e.i.r. about this exact issue. we believe the documents more than adequate should be certified today and we'd be happy to any -- answer any questions you have. thank you. president miguel: thank you. additional public comment thunderstorm item? -- under this item? >> i'm tom and i'm a resident of 246 second street. i guess one of the experiences i've had in looking at this 222 second street project, i've gotten to understand a little bit, obviously thoroughly, as a physicist, the whole planning process and the e.i.r. process. and one of the things i think that is missing from the current e.i.r. is an aspect, again, of a high amount of residential area that is currently existing in this particular area, that's been
encouraged by the city in this particular area and will continue in this area as already several projects have been approved for residential within a couple of blocks of 222 second street. but the one shortfall i think that this document has is not considering the aspects of public health on the residents, the current residents as well as the transitory residents, that flow through this neighborhood. and i think one of the shames is that the planning department didn't take advantage of the expertise of the san francisco public health department which from research that i've done is really certainly a nationally recognized body in terms of the health impacts on environmental impact reports but also internationally as well. and i think particularly in
regards to the impact on traffic and traffic impact on pedestrians as well as bicyclists and other vehicles in an area that's already -- already has one of the highest accident rates in the city. so i think that is in my vantage point, an opportunity -- is, in my van tage point, an opportunity lost for the residents and citizens of san francisco, is to utilize this resource and include that in the e.i.r. process. thank you. president miguel: thank you. >> i'm an owner at 246 second street. good to see you and thank you for the opportunity. the neighborhood around 222 second street was industrial a century ago. it is not today. and 20 years of deliberate san francisco policy precedent which translated into codes, regulations, have basically
brought families to the area around 222 second street. and this explains the 10 condo projects that are anywhere between 100 and 1,600 feet. these 10 condominium projects house 1,000 families. i am one of those families. i have a 2-year-old daughter that i take to the kindergarten literally acrots from -- across from 222 second street. there are 127 kids at that bright horizon kinder grarten. there's a kindergarten behind my building at 222 second street and there is a wait list for all of them. consequently my neighborhoods and parents take their kids to the four other kindergartens that are less than a mile from 222 second street. second street is the main
spreet to -- street to the bay bridge and the ballpark which explains why at traffic at rush hour, traffic is terrible, during the baseball season it is unbearable. it is a fact that traffic volume is the primary cause of injury collisions at the area level. the bicycle coalition has been extremely vocal about injuries on second street to chronicle in a march 20th article, a doctor, the director of the injury center at the san francisco hospital in district six is the undisputed champion among city districts for generating death, injuries and medical costs. now, this proposed project would bring in 1,6040 new office workers into the -- 1,640 new office workers into the neighborhood every day. it would generate 10,950
personal trips per day. there is no question that allowing a noncode-compliant project is going to worsen traffic. what is key here is that increased volume of traffic is going to cost lives. given the number of children under the age of 9 in my building, these are 15 to to 20 kids and 15% to 20% of these buildings have kids under the age of 9. under these conditions it would be irresponsible to allow these buildings to go through. we have nothing against any buildings. all we want is a building to be code-compliant. thank you. president miguel: thank you. are there further public comment thunderstorm item? if not, public comment is closed. >> thank you. commissioners, you are now at consideration of findings and final actions.
the public hear something closed for that this category. item number 10, 1423 polk street. the concert for conditional use authorization for a full service restaurant. >> good afternoon. i'm rick crawford of the department staff. this case is a conditional use request for full service restaurant to occupy a commercial space at 1423 polk, in the polk street. the space is currently vacant. the sponsor does not have a restaurant tenant at this time. you heard this case last week and passed a motion of intent to disapprove the request because a sponsor did not yet have a tenant for the space. you directed staff to prepare a motion of disapproval that would allow the responser to return in less than a year if they were able to secure a tenant and you have that motion buffer. i'd be happy to -- before you. i'd be happy to answer any questions you have. thank you very much.
president miguel: thank you. commissioner lee: i move to approve the motion. commissioner borden: second. >> commissioners, on the motion for disapproval. commissioner antonini: no. commissioner borden: no. commissioner lee: aye. commissioner moore: aye. commissioner sugaya: aye. vice president olague: aye. president miguel: aye. >> that motion passed 5-2.
but it would eliminate the parking use as instructed or 430,000 office tower. the building goes to ground floor would have an enclosed publicly accessible open space and retail uses and space that would contain up to 80 parking spaces and 46 bicycles basis. the draft eir was published on january 27, 2010, and had a 57- day public review which closed on march 25. march 4, the commission held a public hearing to take public comment period on july 8, the department published the comments in a response document,
which included their responses of the comments. subsequent to the publication of the documents, the department received an additional letter on behalf of the residence at 246 in street. staff committed a written response on august 11 via e- mail. additional copies of these responses are available for the public are here on the table. supplemental comments deal with three primary ceqa topic areas, which were addressed in the eir documents. other issues relate to planning code exceptions as part of the committee, planning code section 309 project approval consideration. in terms of land use, the idea is located in the c30 district where office and retail uses are permitted. project would exceed those limits on the floors as well as not comply with the 150-foot height limit. it would be the subject of
project approvals. the documents also indicate that the characters of the surrounding use, and number of residential and commercial users are located in the vicinity. eir found that an office use and zoning district that from its office uses would not result in a significant land use impact theory with respect to shadows, shadowseir concludes the study and concludes that it would not conflict with the sunlight ordinance. the ceqa significance criteria asks if a project with affect usability of publicly accessible open space or outdoor recreational facilities or other public uses. as you see in the comments and responses document, we do respond to concerns related to shadow, sheeting on publicly accessible, privately owned open spaces, and in that context, the eir does not consider shadow impacts.
similarly for when they eir finds some -- when the eir -- eir finds this to be less than significant. eir identifies a number of significant and unavoidable impact related to traffic congestion at the intersection of harrison and second street, as well as cumulative impacts at the intersection of howard and third, howard and montgomery, harrison and second street. the project would make a considerable contribution to future traffic volumes that could result in significant delays at these intersections to determine that no feasible measures are available to reduce these effects. commissioners, the draft certification motion is included in your packet. staff recommends certification of this eir. this concludes my presentation. i am available for questions if you have any. thank you.
commissioner maine delaware: thank you. commissioner antonini: 90. i believe that was extremely well done, and i agree with your belief that this eir is complete and thorough. i would also like to point out that in regards to the analysis, which you mentioned of the office space and residential space in the area approximately between market and probably folsom and fremont, actually, 1/3 of the square footage, as you pointed out, of the office space in the downtown financial district is now located there. or about, rather, 15%, but the residential space is about 1/3 of the office space in the area, said they are both uses that are quite well studied in the area, and i also appreciated your
historical analysis, in particular, the reference to 631 howard st., which was very well done. so i think it is well done. i would move to certify. >> second. again for the general public, remember the eir addresses the alternatives, and some of the issues brought up. we will discuss later, but the eir itself i think is very well done, and michael here is extremely good in his responses to the general public. commissioner moore: my concern is that my question regarding policy and forward-looking response to concerns about not yet determined open spaces on top of the trans bay terminal were not really answered.
however, i would appreciate if there would be a more pro-active way of looking at it and also looking at the expansion of the museum. i cannot help but say, and not particularly singling out the developer or this eir, whenever we have an aggressive developer- driven eir, it gets very tight around howard and this question that does not really adapt a response to questions which are not being spelled out. the issue, and i'm talking to the juniors here, the issue on shadow sidewalks is a policy issue. as long as i have practiced in the city, shadow on sidewalks, which does not fall under the shadow ordinance in the way the public spaces government does, has been a concern, has been a design issue, and has been an
issue of public commitment by many developers, and in this particular way is basically being argued out, and it becomes -- i'm sorry to say the. it is kind of like a ping-pong game. he said, she said. you are right, you are wrong, and i'm frustrated not having someone on top of that policy to explain to me -- is it an issue or not an issue? the one thing i know is that while the transbay area is very strongly driven by office development, although that was not its original intent, proposition very clearly spells out that it was to be a mixed use building, but the competition is solely an office building. with rincon nearby, i know that we have an increasing number of residents in this particular corridor. i also know whenever the market
is not playing itself out well, there is an adaptive reuse of office space for housing. these are my comments regarding the eir. i have questions which i do not feel have been answered. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is for certification of this final environmental impact report. [roll call] that motion passes 6-1 with commissioner moore voting against. thank you. commissioners, you are now back on your regular calendar with item 12, a, b, c, and d. the 222 second street.
>> thank you, good afternoon, commissioners. the request before you today is for several actions regarding a project located at 222 second street at the southwest corner of howard street. -- proposes to demolish an existing service parking lot and loading docks and construct a new 26-story, 350-foot tall office building containing approximately 430,650 square feet of office uses, 5000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 20,000 square feet of retail space, and a grand for interior open space accessible to the public, measuring 8600 square feet. in order for the project to proceed, the planning commission would need to allocate the request of office space under the a will office development limitation program and determined that the project applies to planning section 309. in addition, the planning commission would need to recommend that the board of supervisors approved amendments to the general plan and zoning
act to increase the height limit on a portion of the property from 150 feet to 350 feet. his height change would affect a relatively smaller area at the western portion of the site, representing approximately 15% of the site and would make this portion inconsistent with the 350-foot height limit on the remainder. as allowed by planning code section 309, the project requests and number of exceptions to the requirement to the planning code. in terms of both requirements, the lower tower portion of the building exceeds the maximum diagonal dimension, maximum floor area, and maximum temperature here in the upper tower, however, complies. the building is massed in a manner that creates a distinctive vision between base, lower power, and upper tower portions of the building with its -- substantial setbacks from the interior of the property line. in addition, the project commits the streets and several lower historic buildings, which serve to make the separation and
access to light purchase of property. project also request an exception from the requirements regarding crown level when cover. it requires that they not exceed certain cover and have a level wind speeds, and also reduce the existing and it's been at the existing level. project would not result in any hazardous when speeds. it would eliminate a for your existing comfort level exceed insists. however, at the new locations, wind speeds were only slightly exceed the comfort criteria by one to four miles per hour, depending upon location. the link upon at the comfort levels are exceeded would only increase slightly from 16.4% to 17% here lastly, as has been discussed, the project just request an exception regarding shadows on public sidewalks. the code requires a project on this portion of second street comply with the sunlight access claim that begins with a high of 132 feet and slopes away at
an angle of 62 degrees. project into its within this plane. many existing buildings in the area to cast shadows on second street, and the new shadows generated by the portion of the building inside the claim are limited in generation and disappear by the late fall and winter. at this time, i would like to distribute to you a number of letters and e-mails that sap has received following publication of your packet, and i understand you have received separate transmittals. the letters that i'm presenting to you do raise concerns about dust, noise, and degree during construction, traffic, scale of the building, and the exceptions and questions of liability of new office space in the area. i would also like to mention that if the commission is inclined to approve this project, the commission should adopt ceqa findings and the mmrp as an attachment. these findings were provided to you in hard copy and were
available to the public at time of publication of staff reports but really should not necessarily be adopted as a stand-alone item. again, if the project is inclined to be approved by this commission, these findings and the mmrp should be adopted as part of the case as an attachment, and i would request direct staff to refer to this attachment any corporate the findings by reference. in conclusion, staff recommends approval of the projects for a number of reasons. the project would add substantial offices, retail space, and publicly accessible open space in the downtown corridor. the project is well-designed and suited for an intense and urban context, that is characterized by an eclectic mix of buildings, skills, an architectural style. product would replace an existing service parking lot with a use that would reinforce and activate and has employees that will add to the vitality of the area. the project is designed to the gold standard and inherently contributes to the
sustainability goals in the location people can walk or use transit without relying on automobiles. staff supports the project and recommends approval of the action related to the projects, including the requested 309 extension, subject to the conditions of approval and the modifications that i mentioned regarding the format of the ceqa findings. this concludes my presentation. thank you. commercial miguel: thank you. >> mr. president, i have a couple of procedural questions. to the city attorney's office, is it an issue or problem that the ceqa findings are not called out on the calendar as an agenda item? i was just wondering because they are always -- in the past, we have had similar cases where we have done the certification of the final and specific agenda item on ceqa findings, but i do not believe that is necessary. >> there is no requirement in
ceqa that the findings be made as a stand-alone motion. in cases like this where you have a number of approvals, it makes it a little cleaner to have a stand alone motion that comes first, but it is certainly not a requirement has a law, as long as the commission makes it clear that when they take the first approval action, they are also adopting the ceqa findings that can be found in this draft motion. they are adopting those and adopting the mitigation moderating program and incorporating those by reference into the motion that they are making, that the commission is making. >> ok, thank you. second question is item 12a has to do with the annual office limitation program, under which we are going to vote whether or not to -- i do not know the right term -- allocate, i guess
412,650 square feet of office space. is that number not dependent on item 12b, where we would have to do a general plan amendment to change the height sell from 150s to 350s, and if that is not the case, should this item not come first, in terms of voting? >> thank you, commissioner. actually, the request of height change, even if it were recommended by this commission for approval, would not become effective until the adoption by the board of supervisors. if that were the case. really, the section approvals and all other actions typically related to the fundamental building blocks of the project, the building envelope and the allowance allocation is all sort of contended upon the future action. >> our action is dependent on
our action of 12b, isn't it? >> that is not necessarily the case because first of all, we have conditioned the motions in such a way that everything is conditioned upon the presumption or the requirement that the resounds in general plant classification occur at a later date, but you are essentially allocating an amount of office space, but there would still need to be the enabling actions for a building. i did not know if you can utilize the space -- >> ok, i've got it. thank you. commercial miguel: project sponsor? >> perfect, and if we could turn the computer screen on.
>> good afternoon. i'm thrilled to be here. i've gotten to know a number of you well. we've been working on this project for close to four years. we are thrilled to bring it in front of you, and we think it builds on the track record. great projects that are both economically viable, and the contributions to downtown, the 650-unit project where we have literally now one residential unit up for sale. last year was the most successful building project in the country, and 555 machine, which as of today is 82% lead and with commitments to existing tenants for expansion is 95% committed -- 555 mission. this corner is a critical corner from our perspective in downtown. it is an extraordinary opportunity to build a great
office building. there are very few. there are really only three viable entitled office buildings. we have taken great pains to bring together a great architectural team to build what we hope is a great building, but also an economically viable building. we would like to be out there competing for tenants. i will turn it over to the president-elect of the aia to take you through the detailed discussion. >> thank you, carl. tom and i are going to take you through the design of the project, and i want to touch on a couple of things that i think are important for me to address. first, the importance of sustainability in the project. remarkably almost four years ago, we got in line to be one of the first projects in the lead expedited program, so what you see is the way we will